Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Win 8.1 'search ahead' activates too quickly

  1. #1

    Win 8.1 'search ahead' activates too quickly


    Hi Win 8 folks,

    I very regularly use the search function in Windows-looking for specific mp3s in a very large music library. The search "look ahead" function automatically kicks in (too quickly) after typing a few characters, causing a mis-spelling of the search name criteria and defeating its own purpose. When I try to type faster, I make mistakes that screw up the search anyway. It can take 3 or 4 attempts to properly complete the search criteria. This is a most irritating problem............The Google equivalent is a similar pain, but at least it has a high rate of success in guessing what you really want in the search.

    Can anyone advise how to slow down the 'lookahead' feature in the search or if not, how to turn it off? I don't know what the correct name of the function is so can't do a 'google' for instructions to disable it.

    Yours all in anticipation...

    Tommy C Dublin

    Tommy C Dublin

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    After reading this page:
    can't do incremental search in windows explorer - Microsoft Community

    I wonder if the last suggestion, to use Listary utility, may be the best one.
    The consensus seems to be there is no way to adjust the speed of the "select as you type" functionality.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Thanks for taking the time Eclectician


    Hi Ec...

    Thanks for looknigat my help request and taking the time to reply.

    I looked at the linked article you attached but didn't understand the suggestion "Listary Function"; the Search Box on my view of Win Explorer doesn't offer a drop-down menu, and just has the 'x' to close at the end.

    Somewhere in the back of my head I have a memory of there being a discrete "windows service" for the search ahead function - and this was targeted by PC Optimization Packages as a service you could literally "turn off" - meaning you get to type in your exact search criteria, fix any typos you make, and the damned thing doesn't try to search until you hit the enter button!! This was in Win 7 or earlier - I'm just wondering if we still have that option in Win 8, and if so what is the name of that service and can I turn it off.

    I haven't bothered trying to ask MS directly, I'm too cross at the 'bullying' style of Win 8 updates and the hard sell of the unrequired (by me anyway) Win 10 upgrade; If I want a touch screen, I'll buy a tablet. Grrr, I'm getting riled again..

    Cheers for trying,

    Tommy C Dublin
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    If you hit Winkey r then type "services.msc" you can disable Windows Search service. This will turn off indexing. But I don't know if it will turn off the problem. Listary is a 3rd party freeware utility for Windows Explorer. I don't use it myself but I know several people who like it. I don't know exactly how it works. But I know it is freeware.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Thanks again Miles.. yes that was the service I was trying to remember, and you are right - it doesn't help to stop it!! I'll look at Listary - but I'm fed up with MS Model T Ford policy "any colour so long as it's our black"!! I guess I'll have to type faster and better.......
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    I think since XP I have disabled indexing and used Everything Search. It is only for NTFS file systems because it searches the MFTs for the info. It is lightning quick. The incremental search does have its quirks. But it is cool because it sits in the tray and you can bring up the search window with a hotkey.

    It does not search inside files for text. It just finds files in the volumes you tell it to search. File results in the search window can be dragged and dropped or right clicked to perform actions on them. I have many programs I wrote myself that do not have an entry in the Start Menu. Instead of searching there I use Everything and just type in the name if I forget what folder it is in. Then I just double click it.

    It is free and has been around for quite a while. I believe it works in W10 also.

    Everything Search Engine

    btw I'll take one of those black Fords. Do you have it in blue?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Hi Miles,

    I think I understand most of your latest post and consider the options in it. I'm also going to chase down a meaningful contact in MS support - considering Gofundme for a 5 year expedition on that one. There'll be a delay on your Model T, that emissions 'virus' is everywhere. I'm about to start a day of "grandkids" duty - great fun, but I'll be off the air until tomorrow.

    Once again, thanks for your considered help. I'll post if I get any joy with a simple solution.

    TCD
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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